Somehow I wandered onto this page the other day, and found a rather nifty framebuffer speedup tip. Adding this to your kernel boot line should give you quicker redraws when text is scrolling.
That works for me in both Crux and Arch, and I imagine any recent kernel should be able to work with it. For my extremely-slow-on-the-redraw Pentium, there wasn’t much of a difference to see. And in the case of a full-screen redraw of an application — in other words, not scrolling text — there isn’t any visible difference at all. So for example, resizing mc on the Pentium wasn’t any cleaner.